Management by Objectives Increases Effectiveness

What does it mean to be a manager? While the skills to be an effective manager are many and the exact mix of skills necessary will vary from job to job and sector to sector, most writers on business and management agree that successful management involves the planning, organising, leading and controlling of resources, including personnel, to efficiently and effectively achieve organisational aims.

If you do any of these things, then you are a manager, whether or not the word “manager” appears in your official job title. However, many managers, especially ones new in the role, don’t feel well-prepared for the job and consequently, need advice and guidance in how to begin to fulfill their new role in a way that is effective and satisfies the requirements of superiors.

Know that, although there are no absolute measures of managerial effectiveness, nevertheless there is broad agreement that when a manager satisfies the aims and goals of the organisation he or she works for, effectiveness has been achieved. The problem is in defining exactly what these aims and goals are and then laying out a format of standard operating procedures that managers can follow to become more effective in achieving them.

One such way is the KPI, or Key Performance Indicator, a well-known approach where the job requirements of a management role are specified in a list of qualities, skills and outcomes written down on paper, with important ones subdivided into smaller subgoals with a numerical target attached, such as number of units sold, percentage increase achieved or number of times completed in order for the manager’s performance to be deemed satisfactory.

In particular, one of the most famous versions of the KPI solution is the “Management by Objectives” approach of Peter Drucker, the renowned writer on management issues. This is where the aims and goals of the organisation are arranged and presented as “Objectives” that must be fulfilled and then managers are evaluated on how well they contributed to the achievement of those objectives.

The downside to this approach is that it is often very difficult to apply in the real-life workplace. Typically, many problems arise and a whole range of issues complicate the achievement of these objectives, which can sometimes suggest that the idea itself is not all that great. However, the general consensus in business is that it is felt to be a practical construct and a useful description of “how things ought to be done”, even if things do not actually always end up being done exactly as the model describes. So, despite its difficulty in application, Drucker’s Management by Objectives remains an excellent way to envisage the goals of an organisation and create a template of performance for managers to strive for, while also acting as a map that guides the organisation in the achievement of its aims and the development of its future business trajectory.

In addition, Drucker also delineates eight practices that all effective managers follow -

1/ They ask “what needs to be done”

2/ They ask “what is right for the enterprise”

3/ They develop action plans

4/ They take responsibility for decisions

5/ They take responsibility for communicating

6/ They focus on opportunities

7/ They run productive meetings

8/ They think and say “we” rather than “I”

These eight practices of effective managers can be grouped into 3 areas – the first two practices give them the knowledge they need to do their job; the next four allow them to change this knowledge into action; the last two make sure that the whole team or organisation is responsible and accountable (not just the individual manager).

So a commitment by organisations to implement, at least as a broad framework, Drucker’s Management by Objectives and a commitment by managers to perform the eight practices described above will lead to greater movement towards organisational goals and a marked increase in managerial effectiveness.

12 eCommerce Legal Issues to Consider in Operating an Online Business

The following article provides a high-level summary of some key eCommerce law issues online business operators face in running a website or other eCommerce business. Conducting business online or maintaining a website may subject companies and individuals to unforeseen legal liabilities. The following is a brief survey of 12 key eCommerce law issues to consider:

1. Internet Business & eCommerce

A good starting point is analyzing a company’s online presence and auditing their procedures to determine how to grow their brand and online influence. As part of this, the company’s agreements and websites should comply with the myriad of laws and regulations affecting websites and online businesses, such as COPPA.

2. Domain Name Acquisition

Domains are often the key to an online business, but can present a number of problems. Domain name issues include securing a domain name initially, as well as protecting domain names from adverse parties that attempt to trade off the goodwill associated with the company’s brand. Sometimes, the company needs defense, retrieval, and protection of domain names on the Internet.

3. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) Compliance

Companies operating websites, particularly where third-party content may be uploaded directly, should consider adopting agreements and procedures to shield themselves against claims of liability and copyright infringement. This procedure is sometimes referred to as a “copyright policy” or “DMCA takedown” procedure. Compliance with the DMCA can provide the online operator with a safe harbor from liability.

4. Online Privacy

Online privacy continues to become a bigger issue. With the spread of mobile devices, tablets, and apps, privacy issues are becoming more complex. Companies should consider composing or updating their privacy policies as well as adopting internal security protocols aimed at protecting the online privacy of customers and website users.

5. Social Media Law

While a powerful vehicle to build brand strength and interact with customers, social media can create a number of legal issues for online businesses. A social media policy provided to employees as well as guidelines can be effective steps to reduce risk. A few key areas to consider are employment related use of social media, confidentiality, sponsorship, and branding guidelines.

6. Privacy Policies

Privacy policies should not be copied from online templates or rival companies. They should be drafted comprehensively to address unique issues of a specific online business and to accommodate future growth. Whether a company looks to collect analytics or more personalized information, the company should focus on its specific business needs and risk factors. Privacy policies should be updated as a business evolves.

7. Terms of Use Agreements

Terms of Use (TOU) agreements can limit liability for companies that maintain an Internet presence. These agreements should be optimized to address a company’s specific business and should not be simply cut and pasted from the Internet. What works for one company may not work for another company.

8. eCommerce Agreements

eCommerce agreements come in many forms such as licensing, advertising agreements, and payment processor agreements. eCommerce agreements should be drafted to address the primary legal risks involved in a particular eCommerce contract or business transaction.

9. Online Sweepstakes & Games

Online sweepstakes, contests, and games create a number of legal pitfalls. Depending on the sweepstake, contest, or game, compliance with the laws of all 50 states as well as the federal government may be required. Registration in specific states may also be required. Online businesses may benefit from guidance as to whether a particular new initiative is considered a sweepstake, contest, or game.

10. Domain Theft

Recovering hijacked domains can often be difficult and time-consuming. Typically, avoiding domain theft in the first place is much easier than attempting to recover a stolen domain. While difficult, it is possible to recover a hijacked domain.

11. Website Agreements

Website agreements can be customized to limit legal liability and reduce risks of disputes by analyzing an online business’s intellectual property portfolio, business processes, and brand objectives. Website agreements can be used for mobile applications in addition to websites.

12. Impersonation and Username Squatting

Impersonation and username squatting can occur when a third party registers a social media account using someone else’s identity. This can result in harmful posts and information being published in social media. Username squatting can also prevent a trademark or brand owner from controlling their trademark. Typically, registering usernames in advance is the best strategy to avoid impersonation or username squatting.

Learn How to Use These 5 Must Know Tips to Make Your Facebook Business Page Unique

After deciding to go ahead with taking your business to the next level it will be vital that you set your mark or the tone for your business by making your Facebook business page unique. There are several ways to do this, but you always want to make sure that the site is professional and helpful at the same time. Here are five tips to help you make you Facebook business page unique:

1. Popularity Content

The more common way that a Facebook page will make new friends are due to common friends, or friends of interest. There are roughly 150 friends per Facebook page currently, and the majority of these are all going to be connected to one another through common friends of interest.
While there are connections to other social network sites, it is possible to make your Facebook business page unique in connecting this page with other social network sites like Twitter for an example.

2. Fan Yourself Silly

If you are hoping to see all of your friends also become ‘fans’ of your business, this is going to be crucial in your attempts to creating a Facebook business page that is unique and different from your competitors. Offer something special for those friends or customers that do go through and become a fan of your Facebook page. On average other Facebook users only become a ‘fan’ of a page or business twice during a 30 day (or monthly) period.

3. Create a Unique Facebook Business Page

Work on activating the friends you currently have into fans rather than focusing on adding more and more friends. Friends and customers are always great to have, but take care and tend for the ones you have and recruit them from friends to fans. This can be done by creating an overly unique Facebook business page. The average fan site will have 10,000 fans.

4. What You Say Not How Often You Say It

Keep up on your posts and add new blogs, advice or stories in correlation to your business, but keep in mind that it’s not going to be how much you log in and report on your Facebook page, but in order to make your Facebook business page unique you will need to offer unique advice, services and opportunities to clients and future consumers depending on your business or services. Don’t just pitch your products or push the hard sell because this is just the place for it. Remember that Facebook is all about building relationships.

5. Customized News Feed

When you are adding new information it’s important to keep a watchful eye on what kind of information you are going to be putting on your site. The newest addition to Facebook is the ability to customize what kind of news feed is displayed on your page. This will allow you to make your Facebook business page unique and offer you the opportunity to set yourself apart from other businesses services or organizations similar to yours.

How to Create a Brand Professional That People Want to Get Behind

Have more than a blog and a social media account.

In case you desire to generate a significant impact as a business online, having a blog and a social media account is definitely not enough. What is crucial is to be aware that there has to be a brand behind that blog and social media account. There have to be something that make people feel is a whole, not just a bunch of posts and comments that are not tied together. Having a logo doesn’t automatically makes your site a brand. To have a real brand you have to comprehend what’s behind all the text you can write, it’s like the essence that is deep of your whole platform, it is that little something that makes it special. Once you have a brand you’ll have fans, in order to achieve that you need to create yourself and image, that image you create needs to get exposure.

When can you conclude you have a brand.

You may ask yourself, if I have my site logo, and it doesn’t is the brand, then what is it? Something is pretty obvious, a brand without a name is not a brand. When you register your company you give it a name right? That name will be your online site’s name at the same time. The big company Google, says, that brands are more successful at SEO nowadays, at the same time from the user’s perspective sites with brands can be seen as even more professional than sites with no brands defined. A good example for this: if you call your site “Sports World”, it will work much better than just calling it “Sports Articles”.

Visual language of your brand.

Something that is also very important in this concept is having “visual language” in your site. After your logo has been created, the next step is selecting the colors and also images that relate to your business brand and are the basis of your brand’s logo. At the moment you have all these elements, you have to combine them into everything else you develop to your site. For example if your logo has the colors black, brown and gray, then your website needs to use these colors, same for your social media accounts, it’s about expanding your visuals to everything that you create from now on for your business.

Your Mission Statement.

So, the work doesn’t end there. Now you need to be able to create what is called as “The Mission Statement”. This is the more important aspect of your brand. Some experts say this mission statement is what to need to be defined first. “The Mission Statement” is just a short paragraph that explains what is your business about. Basically what you do and the reason behind it. This includes the goal you have, the vision and also the commitment you put to make it works. After you define this, you’ll have a better vision of what your business is about and based on that you’ll get the inspiration you need to create the elements of your business, the logo and the name are a couple of them. At this point you made your business name and your logo stand for something, thus now people can stand behind you and your business.